Friday, 4 May 2012

Two Days of Italian Feasting: Wednesday & Thursday May 2nd/3rd 2012

I was wandering about on the net, and found this fabulous video (don't miss the curlers...) - it's in Italian, so I'm sorry, but you will see the rather delicious looking plate of food that results:

Orecchiette alle Cime di Rapa

The sauce looked delicious, only trouble was that a) I didn't have any orecchiette and b) I didn't have any turnip tops...

But I did have some Lumache (pasta snails) and some Purple Sprouting Broccoli.  Nearly the same isn't it?

I made the sauce twice, once with red tomatoes (chopped tinned tomatoes our fresh aren't up to cooking with yet) and then on Thursday, repeated it with yellow tomatoes. The Red were much better, the yellow were too sweet, this sauce needs some robustness to match the slight bitterness in the broccoli.

The yellow sauce I served with gnocchi, the red with the lumache.  I hadn't put enough of the broccoli in with the red sauce, and cooked it as Nonna did, but that made it dissolve too much, as it is more delicate than the turnip tops she is using.  So in the yellow sauce, I used a lot more, didn't chop it, and steamed it over the sauce rather than boiling it with the pasta. Oh, and I added some toasted pine nuts to the yellow dish. The sauce was slightly too sweet, but the proportions were better and I liked the pine nuts. I'd recommend this version I think (but with red not yellow tomatoes).

I decided to serve a small portion as a primo piatto, as they would in Italy, rather than as a main course, and followed up with a platter of salami, cheese and salad.

Wednesday, the salami was accompanied by Taleggio cheese and a radish salad, with fresh sourdough baguette - on Thursday the rest of the salami, but with ricotta cheese and a tomato salad in balsamic dressing on baked garlic bruschette

Mangia! Mangia!

Lumache with Tomato and Purple sprouting broccoli, followed by salami, Taleggio cheese and salad.

Gnocchi with yellow tomato & Purple Sprouting Broccoli & pine nuts, followed by Salami, Ricotta, Tomato salad and bruschette

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